Government to consider transport aid for disabled, says McGrath

Minister tells Seanad that scheme will be targeted towards those with greatest need

Finian McGrath: Aim was to support people with severe disabilities.

Finian McGrath: Aim was to support people with severe disabilities.

 

Proposals for a new transport support scheme for the disabled will be brought to Government shortly, Minister of State for Health Finian McGrath has told the Seanad.

He said the aim was to support people with severe disabilities who required additional income to contribute towards the costs of their mobility needs.

“The challenge is to develop a new scheme on a statutory basis, within a limited budget, targeted towards those with the greatest need,” added Mr McGrath.

He said there were no plans to restore the mobility allowance and the motorised transport grant schemes as they previously operated.

“However, the Government is aware of the continuing needs of people with a disability who rely on individual payments which support choice and independence,” he added.

Mobility allowance

Mr McGrath said monthly payments of up to €208.50 had continued to be made by the Health Service Executive to more than 4,700 people who were in receipt of the mobility allowance.

He was replying to Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony who referred to the case of a full-time carer who needed to change her eight-year-old car.

The woman, he said, was caring for her husband who had contracted a viral inflammation of the brain, sustaining considerable damage, and also suffered from epilepsy and depression.

“The woman needs a car,” said Mr O’Mahony.

“There are consultant appointments on a continuous basis.”